PDX-YVR-ICN-TPE transfer help

Old Dec 11, 19, 8:00 am
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PDX-YVR-ICN-TPE transfer help

Ok I need a little help here, I bought this award ticket through united airlines and flying AC for most of it and TG from ICN - TPE. I just checked in at AC and they couldn't check me in from ICN-TPE and they couldn't check my bags all the way through to TPE. Only to ICN. I already have such short connection from ICN - TPE (1 hour 10 minutes), is there anything I can do? or has anyone done the transfer at ICN with checked bags with a short connection?

Last edited by snowboardpunk; Dec 11, 19 at 8:30 am
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Old Dec 11, 19, 8:02 am
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Originally Posted by snowboardpunk View Post
Ok I need a little help here, I bought this award ticket through united airlines and flying AC for most of it and TG from ICN - TPE. I just checked in at AC and they wouldn't print my boarding pass from ICN-TPE and they couldn't check my bags all the way through to TPE. Only to ICN. I already have such short connection from ICN - TPE (1 hour 10 minutes), is there anything I can do? or has anyone done the transfer at ICN with checked bags with a short connection?
This has nothing to do with United. However, 1 hour 10 minutes is not a particularly short connection at ICN. When you arrive, look for the TG transfer desk, give them your passport and luggage claim check, and they'll print a boarding pass for you to use to go through security.

ETA: The fact that they couldn't check your bags through is a killer. emcampbe gave the best advice here. Good luck!
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Last edited by jsloan; Dec 11, 19 at 2:15 pm
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Old Dec 11, 19, 1:00 pm
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I think you can probably check in with TG online - but if not, you should have no problem checking in at the transfer desk in ICN.

regardless of ACs ability to check in all the way, thereís no reason they shouldnít be able to check your bag though all the way at origin, particularly since it would be all on one ticket. Iíve had CX not be able to check me into UA on a ticket that was issued by UA (BKK-HKG-EWR), as they apparently have incompatible systems for that, but they had no problem checking bags through. My guess is you got an agent (likely a contractor at PDX, who doesnít work for AC, but a different airline or ground services firm), who didnít know how to do it. Only reason they might not be able to do it is if you had a really long or overnight layover. Other potential possibility, I suppose, is itís too far ahead of the flight, but I find that unlikely.

it seems youíve already checked in at the desk, so anything know is probably too late, unless they can do something behind the scenes to update the bag destination. If I were you, Iíd find an agent at YVR, probably at a customer service desk as soon as you land, let them know the situation, and see if they can help you. If they canít, get to the gate early and see if the agent their can help. If not, your biggest issue is you wonít be able to transfer properly in ICN, as the bag will go the belt for terminating passengers, and youíll need to go there. At just over an hour, thereís not time for that and then to re-check with TG. The only alternative is to check at TG transfer desk in ICN to see if they can pull the bag to have it routed with you.

in the future, Iíd ask for someone else to check in - start with asking for a supervisor. There should also be a help desk the agent could have called to help them get this done at the outset.
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Old Dec 11, 19, 2:14 pm
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Originally Posted by emcampbe View Post
it seems youíve already checked in at the desk, so anything know is probably too late, unless they can do something behind the scenes to update the bag destination. If I were you, Iíd find an agent at YVR, probably at a customer service desk as soon as you land, let them know the situation, and see if they can help you. If they canít, get to the gate early and see if the agent their can help. If not, your biggest issue is you wonít be able to transfer properly in ICN, as the bag will go the belt for terminating passengers, and youíll need to go there. At just over an hour, thereís not time for that and then to re-check with TG. The only alternative is to check at TG transfer desk in ICN to see if they can pull the bag to have it routed with you.
Oops, sorry, I didn't notice that in my original reply -- thanks for pointing it out.

The fact that they only tagged the bag to ICN is much more important than the boarding passes. OP: I agree with emcampbe. You definitely want to try to get the bag re-routed before getting on the plane for ICN. While that's not a short transfer with a through-checked bag, it's a nigh-impossible transfer if you're hand-transferring the bag.

I'l go back and edit my original post.
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Old Dec 11, 19, 3:34 pm
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Originally Posted by emcampbe View Post
I think you can probably check in with TG online - but if not, you should have no problem checking in at the transfer desk in ICN.

regardless of ACs ability to check in all the way, there’s no reason they shouldn’t be able to check your bag though all the way at origin, particularly since it would be all on one ticket. I’ve had CX not be able to check me into UA on a ticket that was issued by UA (BKK-HKG-EWR), as they apparently have incompatible systems for that, but they had no problem checking bags through. My guess is you got an agent (likely a contractor at PDX, who doesn’t work for AC, but a different airline or ground services firm), who didn’t know how to do it. Only reason they might not be able to do it is if you had a really long or overnight layover. Other potential possibility, I suppose, is it’s too far ahead of the flight, but I find that unlikely.

do you happen to know if you have to go through immigration to get bags and get to transfer desk? I might have one person go to transfer desk to see if they reroute bags and one wait for bags.

it seems you’ve already checked in at the desk, so anything know is probably too late, unless they can do something behind the scenes to update the bag destination. If I were you, I’d find an agent at YVR, probably at a customer service desk as soon as you land, let them know the situation, and see if they can help you. If they can’t, get to the gate early and see if the agent their can help. If not, your biggest issue is you won’t be able to transfer properly in ICN, as the bag will go the belt for terminating passengers, and you’ll need to go there. At just over an hour, there’s not time for that and then to re-check with TG. The only alternative is to check at TG transfer desk in ICN to see if they can pull the bag to have it routed with you.

in the future, I’d ask for someone else to check in - start with asking for a supervisor. There should also be a help desk the agent could have called to help them get this done at the outset.

thank you for the advice. they couldn't reroute the bags unfortunately. yea its not me flying but my younger brother and he's new to all this. I would have pushed to have the bags to Taipei. The check in agent apparently told them they're not in the same network but they're both apart of star alliance. frustrating as it is there doesn't seem to be another option if they can't make it. Ill tell them to see of the transfer desk can reroute the bags, even on a later flight and just go to Taipei without the bags and have them reroute it. Or just buy another ticket with another air china. The united agent over the phone told me they don't have anymore flights for the day on any airlines from icn - tpe, and have one flight the next day which is icn-nrt-tpe. which just adds so much more travel.

Last edited by snowboardpunk; Dec 11, 19 at 3:51 pm
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Old Dec 11, 19, 3:52 pm
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
Oops, sorry, I didn't notice that in my original reply -- thanks for pointing it out.

The fact that they only tagged the bag to ICN is much more important than the boarding passes. OP: I agree with emcampbe. You definitely want to try to get the bag re-routed before getting on the plane for ICN. While that's not a short transfer with a through-checked bag, it's a nigh-impossible transfer if you're hand-transferring the bag.

I'l go back and edit my original post.
do you happen to know if you have to go through immigration to get bags and get to transfer desk? I might have one person go to transfer desk to see if they reroute bags and one wait for bags. hoping to reroute bags in ICN cuz they couldn't it it yvr or over the phone
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Old Dec 11, 19, 4:05 pm
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Originally Posted by snowboardpunk View Post
The check in agent apparently told them they're not in the same network but they're both apart of star alliance.
Again, nothing to do with UA, so you're probably in the wrong forum for the question, but "same network" is irrelevant. Your brother was traveling on a single ticket, and the agent should have been able to figure out how to get the bags to their destination.

Originally Posted by snowboardpunk View Post
do you happen to know if you have to go through immigration to get bags and get to transfer desk? I might have one person go to transfer desk to see if they reroute bags and one wait for bags. hoping to reroute bags in ICN cuz they couldn't it it yvr or over the phone
You would go to one or the other: follow signs for transferring passengers to get to a transfer desk, or follow signs for immigration to get to customs and baggage claim.

If it were me, I would probably go to TPE and then file a claim with TG for the bag, even though it was never checked properly through to TPE... but it's definitely risky, and there's a chance that TG would refuse to deliver the bag. I'd definitely tell them at the transfer desk, "hey, this bag tag was messed up," though, because maybe they can send somebody to retrieve it.

I'd probably be using the next few hours to check the AC and TG forums to see if there are any similar stories.

Last edited by jsloan; Dec 11, 19 at 5:11 pm Reason: Corrected city (not my thread for reading comprehension)
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Old Dec 11, 19, 4:31 pm
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Wow this is a mess. Your brother should go to the TG transfer desk at ICN and plead with them to have the bag loaded on the TG flight to TPE. Otherwise he's going to miss the connection. Then AC is likely to pull the "we can only rebook you into award space, and we can't force OZ, BR, or TG to open award space" nonsense (I haven't searched for space, so don't know how much of a problem this would be). The alternative of flying without the bag is risky because it was never tagged over to TG, and AC doesn't fly ICN-TPE, and likely relies on contract staff there.
Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
If it were me, I would probably go to BKK and then file a claim with TG
The pax isn't going to BKK. It's a Fifth Freedom flight ICN-TPE.

I would be very concerned about TG accepting responsibility since the bag wasn't tagged to them.

I think we all agree, an experienced traveler would never have left the counter at PDX without getting the bags tagged all the way through.
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Old Dec 11, 19, 5:17 pm
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Wow this is a mess. Your brother should go to the TG transfer desk at ICN and plead with them to have the bag loaded on the TG flight to TPE. Otherwise he's going to miss the connection. Then AC is likely to pull the "we can only rebook you into award space, and we can't force OZ, BR, or TG to open award space" nonsense (I haven't searched for space, so don't know how much of a problem this would be).
Agreed, and while UA could also help rebooking, it's really AC's responsibility, and it's going to be next to impossible to get somebody from UA engaged, especially without status.

Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
The alternative of flying without the bag is risky because it was never tagged over to TG, and AC doesn't fly ICN-TPE, and likely relies on contract staff there.
If the passenger flies without the bag, and TG can be convinced to get involved, they can put it on the next ICN-TPE flight, or it could obviously go on a BR or OZ flight. If TG refuses to help and insists that the claim be made with AC...

Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
The pax isn't going to BKK. It's a Fifth Freedom flight ICN-TPE.
This isn't my thread for reading comprehension. I corrected my post; it doesn't really change the gist, but I appreciate getting the record straight.

Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
I would be very concerned about TG accepting responsibility since the bag wasn't tagged to them.

I think we all agree, an experienced traveler would never have left the counter at PDX without getting the bags tagged all the way through.
Right. And, assuming the bag does actually end up at baggage claim at ICN, and thus OP's brother ends up having to buy new clothes or whatnot, it's going to be difficult to get TG to accept monetary damages either, for the same reason. Perhaps AC will, although this story has a much happier ending if the TG staff manage to locate and transfer the bag.
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Old Dec 11, 19, 5:18 pm
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ICN is a fairly efficient airport. It is certainly not out of the question to get the bags and re-check them. It will require him to go through immigration, get his bags, and then go to the TG counter and check them. Honestly if he has enough time that might be worth trying as opposed to working with TG and *hoping* they say yes and then *hoping* again that they actually send an agent to get them off the carousel and get them onto the TG flight.
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Old Dec 11, 19, 5:27 pm
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Originally Posted by noah View Post
ICN is a fairly efficient airport. It is certainly not out of the question to get the bags and re-check them. It will require him to go through immigration, get his bags, and then go to the TG counter and check them. Honestly if he has enough time that might be worth trying as opposed to working with TG and *hoping* they say yes and then *hoping* again that they actually send an agent to get them off the carousel and get them onto the TG flight.
If he has enough time, yes, which I would interpret as the AC flight being at least 45 minutes early.

TG's ticket counter closes 45 minutes prior to departure, so if the flight is merely on time, that would give OP's brother 25 minutes to deplane, get through immigration, wait for luggage to be unloaded, get through customs, carry it upstairs, and get through the TG line to check it in. I wouldn't like my odds.
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Old Dec 11, 19, 5:31 pm
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Originally Posted by noah View Post
ICN is a fairly efficient airport. It is certainly not out of the question to get the bags and re-check them. It will require him to go through immigration, get his bags, and then go to the TG counter and check them. Honestly if he has enough time that might be worth trying as opposed to working with TG and *hoping* they say yes and then *hoping* again that they actually send an agent to get them off the carousel and get them onto the TG flight.
Only if the flight arrives really early. At 70 minutes I don't think there's any chance at all. TG baggage cut-off is 60 minutes for international.
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Old Dec 11, 19, 7:10 pm
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
If he has enough time, yes, which I would interpret as the AC flight being at least 45 minutes early.

TG's ticket counter closes 45 minutes prior to departure, so if the flight is merely on time, that would give OP's brother 25 minutes to deplane, get through immigration, wait for luggage to be unloaded, get through customs, carry it upstairs, and get through the TG line to check it in. I wouldn't like my odds.
as of now the flight is 30 minutes early. scheduled to arrive 1620 but arriving at 1550. I can't say for certain but there's two of them. Would it be possible for one to rush up to the transfer desk and have one wait at baggage to see if the TG is willing to work with them?

UA has been somewhat helpful. talked to two people over the phone. One said the bags are going to TPE but not sure cuz there isn't the luggage tag going to TPE and the other willing to rebook us on another flight but the next day.
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Old Dec 11, 19, 7:17 pm
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Originally Posted by snowboardpunk View Post
as of now the flight is 30 minutes early. scheduled to arrive 1620 but arriving at 1550. I can't say for certain but there's two of them. Would it be possible for one to rush up to the transfer desk and have one wait at baggage to see if the TG is willing to work with them?
Maybe? In general, you can't check bags for another person, so if TG is willing to help, the person at baggage claim is superfluous, and if not, the person at baggage claim may not be able to help to the degree you'd like -- they may end up with the bags but having to pay hundreds of dollars in excess baggage fees, depending upon how many bags we're talking about here. Another consideration is that the person at baggage claim would be accepting responsibility for the contents of the luggage: are the two travelers both your family, or is it your brother and a friend or business associate, or...?

Absent a line at the transfer desk, I suspect that the largest amount of elapsed time will be waiting for the luggage to come out. So, it might be possible for both to go to the transfer desk and plead their case, and, if unsuccessful, hightail it to immigration and baggage claim.
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Old Dec 11, 19, 7:24 pm
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Originally Posted by snowboardpunk View Post
Would it be possible for one to rush up to the transfer desk and have one wait at baggage to see if the TG is willing to work with them?
I would not split up. I don't see any advantage to that, just additional potential headaches.

If there's award availability the next day, the worst case scenario is an overnight at ICN. That's not so bad.
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